Obama Calls Bailout His Vision of ‘Betting on American Business’

By Fred Lucas | July 6, 2012 | 12:50 PM EDT


President Barack Obama wipes sweat from his eye after a speech at Washington Park in Sandusky, Ohio, Thursday, July 5, 2012. Obama is on a two-day bus trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/David Richard)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama, speaking to a crowd in the crucial battleground state of Ohio, referenced a massive corporate bailout as illustrative of his vision of betting on American business.

At a campaign rally in Poland, Ohio, Obama talked about the auto bailout that began under the Bush administration and continued under his presidency.

“Let’s talk about my theory, my vision. When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse, and more than 1 million jobs were on the line, one in eight jobs in Ohio depends on the auto industry - not just the folks in the auto plants, not just the union workers, but all those suppliers up and down the chain - every restaurant outside the plant, every store, every school, depends on those jobs in that industry,” Obama said.

“And you have some folks saying: let’s let Detroit go bankrupt,” the president continued. “They weren’t just talking about Detroit by the way. We said, ‘you know what, we’re going to bet on the American worker. We’re going to bet on American industry.’ And now Chrysler is back. And GM is the number one company in the world. And Ford is on the move. That’s my theory, betting on the American worker and American businesses.”

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According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls in the presidential race in Ohio, Obama leads his Republican opponent former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 2.6 points in the state.

The Bush administration agreed in late 2008 to a $13.4 billion bailout of Chrysler and General Motors. The money came out of the $700 billion bank bailout money - the bailout requiring automakers to produce a long-term business plan by March 31, 2009.

After Obama was president, on Feb. 17, 2009, the Obama administration provided another $4 billion to GM. Obama rejected the automakers' restructuring plans and announced a bankruptcy plan for Chrysler on April 30, 2009. Then, on June 1, 2009, he announced the GM bankruptcy.

Romney had previously suggested a structured bankruptcy for the auto industry, minus a federal taxpayer funded bailout.

“But it's about your values, and being responsible and looking after each other, and giving back,” Obama said.

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